Raytheon has been awarded undefinitized contract action (UCA) by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) for the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB guided missiles.

Under the $156m contract, the company will deliver SM-3 Block IB missiles for use aboard the US Navy ships.

Developed as part of MDA’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence system phased adaptive approach, the SM-3 Block IB features an enhanced two-colour infrared seeker and is scheduled for operational deployment in 2018.

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By GlobalData

The missile can also feature a throttleable divert and attitude control system, which uses short bursts of precision propulsion to guide the projectile and destroy the incoming short, medium and intermediate-range ballistic missile threats.

Earlier, Raytheon Missile Systems president Dr. Taylor Lawrence said that combatant commanders are currently developing inventories in support of phase two of the phased adaptive approach, starting in 2015.

"The three back-to-back successful SM-3 Block IB flight tests have demonstrated the missile’s advanced capabilities."

"The three back-to-back successful SM-3 Block IB flight tests have demonstrated the missile’s advanced capabilities and reliability against various threats in a variety of mission scenarios," Lawrence said.

The SM-3 missile is deployed on Aegis cruisers and destroyers to provide protection against short-to-intermediate-range ballistic missile threats in the midcourse phase of flight.

SM-3 Block IA missiles are currently installed on Kongo-class ships, which are in service with the Japanese maritime self-defence force (JMSDF).

Scheduled to be completed in 2016, work under the contract will be conducted in Tucson, Arizona and Huntsville, Alabama, US.

To date, more than 155 SM-3 missiles have been delivered by the company to the US and Japanese navies on schedule and within budget.